Islington Arts and Media School teachers on strike today

May 26, 2011

Islington Arts and Media School (IAAMS) was closed today as a result of strike action by teachers, called by their union in response to a decision by school management to make four of them compulsory redundant.

Thirty IAAMS teachers picketed the school, supported by parents and colleagues from other Islington schools. (See attached pic.) NUT National Executive Committee member, Alex Kenny, addressed the picketing teachers, congratulating them for making a stand in defence of their colleagues and the standards of education provided to their students. He also told them that a Regional Delegation from the NUT would seek a meeting with IAAMS management in order to seek a resolution of the dispute which did not involve sacking teachers.

“If we do not get an assurance that all threats of compulsory redundancy will be withdrawn,” Mr Kenny told the pickets, “then further, more extended action is likely to be called after the half term holiday.” Teachers at IAAMS distributed letters to parents explaining their case earlier in the week and plan to hold a public meeting for staff and parents if management refuse to withdraw the sackings.


Report from March to save the NHS

May 19, 2011

None of the ConDem government’s attacks on the welfare state and the public sector have attracted so much anger from the British people as their cuts and proposed privatisation of the NHS.

Cameron was aware of how much the public were committed to the future of the NHS, even posing as the person to save the NHS and promising not to make cuts in this area. Now in power, with thousands of health workers, including nurses and ambulance drivers, set to the lose their jobs, and proposed new legislation threatening to open up all areas of the health service to the lowest bidder and taking away the government’s legal duty to provide a comprehensive health service, Cameron’s promises have turned out to be as reliable as Nick Clegg’s.

It was against this background that several thousand people gathered outside University College Hospital to march on the Department of Health. The people on the march were a mixture of ages from teenagers to pensioners and as well as anti-cuts groups and trades unionists included a large number of health workers in uniforms. IHOOPs were near the front of the march with their banner as were the Save the Whittington Campaign. The route of the march went right through the west end and there was a lot of support from people in the area.

At the end of the march outside the Department of Health in Whitehall there were angry chants directed at Lansley and the whole of the Conservative-led coalition.

The Tory-led government seem to be on the defensive over their plans for the NHS and Nick Clegg has chosen this as his issue to try to put distance between the Lib-Dems and their Tory partners. However with the Tories having received significant funding from the private healthcare industry and one of Cameron’s advisers saying the “The NHS will be shown no mercy and the best time to take advantage of this will be in the next couple of years” the risk is that the current pause is a cosmetic exercise and a few minor changes will be brought in to try to reassure the public. There may be a lot more campaigning to do on this issue; for some it will be in the form of marching, for some petitions, some will protest through their trades unions and for some it will be through peaceful direct action and for many like IHOOPS it will be to do as much as possible to ensure the NHS remains free at point of use to all and is run for patients not profits.

Upcoming protests and meetings

May 8, 2011

9th May Islington Disabled People Against The Cuts Meeting
Attending: Jeremy Corbyn MP, Councillors Andy Hull and Janet Burgess speaking.
Contact Disability Action In Islington for more info: Tel: 020 7354 8925, Minicom: 020 7359 1891

11th May The Hardest Hit – Disability March, Lobby and Rally
Disabled people, those with long-term conditions and their families are being hit hard by cuts to the benefits and services they need to live their lives. The Hardest Hit campaign, organised jointly by the Disability Benefits Consortium and the UK Disabled People’s Council, brings together individuals and organisations to send a clear message to the Government: stop these cuts.

March, Lobby and Rally:
11.30 Assemble for March at Victoria Embankment between Horseguards Avenue and Bridge Street. Set off at 12.30 after speeches between 12-12.30.
13.30-17.30 Lobby in Westminster Hall and Central Methodist Hall.
Please Register on the website if you are attending.

12th May Defend the Whittington Hospital Public Meeting
7-9pm Archway Methodist Hall
What’s happening to the NHS? How can we kill the Bill? Why is the Whittington becoming a Foundation Trust hospital? Why might we have to pay for low priority treatments?
What can we do about the cuts in health, mental health and social care in
Meeting chaired by Jeremy Corbyn. Speakers include Emily Thornberry MP (Shadow Minister for Health) and Jacky Davis, Consultant BMA Council.

17th May Kill Lansley’s Bill – March to save the NHS
5.30-8.30 Assemble UCH main entrance in Gower Street
Lansley’s plans threaten to break up our health service and hand it to private healthcare companies. 50,000 NHS jobs are being cut and front line services are under threat. A huge public outcry has forced Cameron and Clegg to delay the Health & Social Care Bill. Now we need to pile on the pressure to make sure the Bill is dropped and to stop our NHS being destroyed

London Met Students Occupy!

May 7, 2011

London Met students have occupied in protest against the outrageous cuts to their university. Check We Are London Met for updates.

BBC website, May 5th
London Metropolitan University students’ cuts sit-in

Islington Tribune, May 6th
Scuffles as students protesting at cuts in courses occupy London Metropolitan University building

Messages of support can be sent to
They also need donations of food and cash. All help hugely appreciated.

Please share this email with your contacts, friends and family.
Many thanks

Solidarity With London Metropolitan University: Education Not Privatisation

May 1, 2011

London Met is facing massive central government funding cuts.This is resulting in massive, and imminent change to the University as we know it. 70% of all courses are being cut, including very established courses such as History, Philosophy, Modern Languages, Performing Arts and Trade Union Studies, all of which have a long and rich tradition at London Met. These course closures are in addition to more than 100 redundancies already announced this year, which include the closure of the Learning Development Unit.

This amounts to a wholesale attack on the provision of open access, community, education, which London Met, like UNL and PNL before it, has been offering to a diverse community of people, from all ages and often from disadantaged backgrounds. London Met is likely to morph into a Business Studies-focussed, no frills institution offering greatly reduced services and support at a much higher price.

Key Dates to support the fight:
Wednesday 4th May
–  London Met resistance meeting 1-2pm, Room GC1-08
–  Lobby outside Tower Building, Holloway Road to save HALE, 2-3pm
–  Evening open meeting with NCAFC to discuss and plan the next phase of national resistance, 6-8pm, Room GC1-08 (Graduate Centre, via main entrance, Holloway Road)

Tuesday 3rd May – Friday 6th May
–  All day presence in the courtyard at Tower Building with a stall to build links with the students and workers there and promote the 7th May Teach-In.

Saturday 7th May
–  Education not Privatisation, 10am-4pm Teach-In: A day of alternative education at London Met, Open to all. No child care facilities, sorry! A teach-in at LondonMet University for and by workers, students and the community.

There is an ideological attack on the publicly-funded university and access to higher
education for working people. In response, staff and students in universities have been holding their own teach-ins looking at education that is not for the market as an alternative to the Con-Dem’s proposals for education for the rich. Come and join our teach-in on Saturday May 7th at the Graduate Centre, London Met University, Holloway Road, 10.00-4.00 followed by social celebrating winning the London Living Wage for all
workers at LondonMet.

Wednesday 18th May
–  Lobby the Board of Governors meeting. Demonstration outside Tower Building, Holloway Road from 12noon.

Wednesday 22nd June
–  Lobby the Board of Governors meeting – this meeting is when they finalise what’s going to be cut. Demonstration outside Tower Building, Holloway Road from 12noon. Location and Time TBC.